President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
December 10, 2013

Today, President Barack Obama joined world leaders at a memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa.  In his remarks, President Obama said, "To the people of South Africa -- people of every race and walk of life -- the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us.  His struggle was your struggle.  His triumph was your triumph.  Your dignity and your hope found expression in his life.  And your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy.

"It is hard to eulogize any man -- to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person -- their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone’s soul.  How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world."

President Obama continued, "...It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailer as well -- to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion and generosity and truth.  He changed laws, but he also changed hearts.

"For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe, Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate a heroic life."

You can read the President's full remarks here.

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Eric J.
New Mexico, USA
December 11, 2013

I think the President made a pretty strong case for a better world, if it were to follow Mandela's example.

This notion of "activism" could simply be inclusive of anyone excercising his civic responsibilities to inspire his fellow humans to think, including those in government.

Could it be that a proper guage for a democracy's effective well being is in how it's government responds to its people , having their feedback on the reality folks see themselves and others in?

No good change can come without testing the validity of the status quo, but to be imprisoned for doing one's civic duty to humanity is defeating the future of humanity itself, before we even get there.

When humanity can speak its mind without gun determining final arguments in debate, then we can say we've made progress as a species regardless of any single individual's evolution of mind in the meantime.

Not to lessen Mandela's acheivements that have made millions of lives better, that's no small feat.

The President spoke to the context of the now and choices to be made, and I would venture that any intelligent alien would figure humanity was just a bunch of under-achievers in achieving a better standard of living; if they were taking a peek in on us right about now,

A glance over at Syria would be all the confirmation any alien would need that there's a higher probability humanity will destroy itself before it colonizes other planets than not.

Assuming aliens have "security interests" too. (chuckle).

If Einstien was right that the definition of insanity is doing what doesn't work, over and over again , and we're not just in awe of Mandela and paying tribute to the man, it's the sanity he brought to the table and the results that cause the occasion.

There are some 7 billion folks on this planet who don't have to wonder if an individualk can make a difference or not, and someone's bound to have a better idea. The challenge for governments is to listen for those who's ideas make too much sense to ignore, and not being fooled into complacency thinking a democratic goverrnment has all the answers to its own problems.
Or any form of government for that matter.


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